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tim.bikeparty

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hey Gravel folks,

I wanted to get everyone's opinion on an idea i've been mulling about.  My family has some land in central TX and I've been doing a fair bit of gravel riding out there (i've been able to make 30-50mi loops on about 85-90% gravel).  I started thinking about hosting a race out there (yes i have experience putting on races), but wanted to make it something special, worth trekking out to the middle of nowhere.  Then the idea hit me: do a gravel race similar to the Gambler 500 (if you don't know... https://gambler500.com/)

My initial thoughts have been have a 100/100 ($100 bike, 100 miles) and a 100/50 ($100 bike, 50 miles).  Your bike must be valued at $100 or less (determined by me, at registration).  I would allow you to use the saddle of your preference, not calculated into the cost of your bike (because I'm not satan).  I would also allow racks/bags/tools as you desire, also not calculated into the cost of the bike (cause shit's definitely gonna break) but any spare parts you bring must not exceed the value limit if used (i.e. your backup derailleur can't be a NOS XT or anything).  You can customize and repair and cobble together anything you desire, as long as the end result doesn't exceed the value cap.

It's all subjective and it's all in good fun, but I do think there is a subset of cyclist that would totally be into a goofy/sadistic race like this, similar to what you find in SS cyclocross.  There could be additional winners for categories like "best" paint job, most "frankenbike" etc.  My questions are:

1) is this something you would ever participate in?

2) do you know OTHER people who would participate? (even if you hate the idea)

3) do you think $100 is a good bike price cap?  if not, what would you suggest?

4) do you think have a 100mi and 50mi route (2 laps, 1 lap) is good?  too far?  not enough pain?

5) any other thoughts?

Thanks for your time!

(local CL $100 bike for reference)
cannondale.jpg

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Shaun McNally

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Reply with quote  #2 
Sounds like a fun idea. Although I think something like 10-20 miles would be more in line with an event like this.
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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #3 
I am just not sure how you judge what a $100 bike is.  The value of old used bikes is very subjective and I have seen some very nice 90s mountain bikes on craigslist for around $100.  Also for a 100 mile gravel ride you are going to need some decent, preferably new, tires to avoid flats.  A set of good tires can be $100 or more, so I would think you would have to not include tires in your value.
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imwjl

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Reply with quote  #4 
Clunkers? Pixie bikes? Those are easy to categorize and don't necessarily break the bank. Old and new ones are generally more alike than other types of bikes.
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hipsteronabike

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Reply with quote  #5 

I would struggle to find a used bike that was still functional in Minneapolis for $100, $150 is the going rate here for a beaten up Schwinn Varsity after all

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xhx

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Reply with quote  #6 
Based on the now dead "crazy coaster" class we had in some races around here you'd wind up with some sketchy stuff. We had guys with cheap bikes, cheaper coaster wheelsets, and no rim brakes. Riding in a pack with them wasn't fun.
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chunkyhugo

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim.bikeparty
Hey Gravel folks,

I wanted to get everyone's opinion on an idea i've been mulling about.  My family has some land in central TX and I've been doing a fair bit of gravel riding out there (i've been able to make 30-50mi loops on about 85-90% gravel).  I started thinking about hosting a race out there (yes i have experience putting on races), but wanted to make it something special, worth trekking out to the middle of nowhere.  Then the idea hit me: do a gravel race similar to the Gambler 500 (if you don't know... https://gambler500.com/)

My initial thoughts have been have a 100/100 ($100 bike, 100 miles) and a 100/50 ($100 bike, 50 miles).  Your bike must be valued at $100 or less (determined by me, at registration).  I would allow you to use the saddle of your preference, not calculated into the cost of your bike (because I'm not satan).  I would also allow racks/bags/tools as you desire, also not calculated into the cost of the bike (cause shit's definitely gonna break) but any spare parts you bring must not exceed the value limit if used (i.e. your backup derailleur can't be a NOS XT or anything).  You can customize and repair and cobble together anything you desire, as long as the end result doesn't exceed the value cap.

It's all subjective and it's all in good fun, but I do think there is a subset of cyclist that would totally be into a goofy/sadistic race like this, similar to what you find in SS cyclocross.  There could be additional winners for categories like "best" paint job, most "frankenbike" etc.  My questions are:

1) is this something you would ever participate in?

2) do you know OTHER people who would participate? (even if you hate the idea)

3) do you think $100 is a good bike price cap?  if not, what would you suggest?

4) do you think have a 100mi and 50mi route (2 laps, 1 lap) is good?  too far?  not enough pain?

5) any other thoughts?

Thanks for your time!

(local CL $100 bike for reference)
cannondale.jpg
0
chunkyhugo

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Reply with quote  #8 
Love this idea, it appeals to my ironic sense of humour. Problem could be that there are an awful lot of poseurs that wouldn't be seen dead on anything other than their $5000 steed. Sadly, to some cyclists it's less about simply getting a kick out of riding your bike with your friends in beautiful terrain and more about pretending to be a pro racer.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chunkyhugo
Love this idea, it appeals to my ironic sense of humor. Problem could be that there are an awful lot of poseurs that wouldn't be seen dead on anything other than their $5000 steed. Sadly, to some cyclists it's less about simply getting a kick out of riding your bike with your friends in beautiful terrain and more about pretending to be a pro racer.


Well for sure I don't have a $5000 steed and probably will never have that even though they say never say never. I have a 2016  Raleigh Tamland 1 that I bought for the sum total of $799.

I think you are limiting yourself when you are setting up this kind of ride. Like someone else said before how do you determine what a $100 bike is especially when a set of tires probably cost that.

Why don't you do a race where all the riders had to build their own bikes or have them built. That would mean no stock bikes. That sounds more doable. Or you could have different classes of bikes.

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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Skldmark

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Reply with quote  #10 
Tim.bikeparty,yes. Allow all comers to run-what-they-brung,but, with surcharges applied for "too much bike".Those riding minimal bikeage receive time bonus's. Surcharges go into the "payout purse" and the time bonus's level the playing field. Judges/arbiters decisions are final. NO BITCHING.
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PMC

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Reply with quote  #11 

Sounds like something a group of buddies would do for kicks.  I get that.
It doesn't sound like something I'd be interested in as an event though.     

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AlanEsh

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun McNally
Sounds like a fun idea. Although I think something like 10-20 miles would be more in line with an event like this.

Agreed! I wouldn't be caught dead (or more to the point, I would feel like dying) trying to ride 100mi on a $100 bike. Fun idea, but that's a loooong ride on something that is unlikely to fit the rider worth a damn.
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tim.bikeparty

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Reply with quote  #13 
thanks for all the responses so far.

100mi may be too far, but that may be kind of the point?  there is a whole subset of notorious endurance events where most people don't finish.  the barkley marathon, for instance, is notorious in running circles as being one of the most difficult races on the planet, with only like 15-20 riders having finished in it's 30+ years.  i'm not saying i want it to be that difficult, but the thought is for it to be a test of your ability.  gravel riding is continuing to get longer and longer, and the terrain is getting harder and harder, as people continue to push themselves in the field.  if there is room in the field for a 1000 mile gravel race across texas, i feel like there have got to be enough sadistic bastards to come play this game

that said, maybe it is a valid point to make this a category of a larger event and not mandatory for all, it would definitely help with the spectating.
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bnystrom

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Reply with quote  #14 
What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Frankly, this seems like a "demolition derby" mentality; is that what you're aiming for? It reminds me of the "Huffy Toss" that was a feature of some MTB events.

From what I've seen at local (New England) gravel events, as long as you promote it as a "fun event" as opposed to a "race", you're going to get a broad spectrum of participants, from the hard-core hammer-heads to casual riders just looking for a fun challenge. You'll see everything from old MTBs and clunkers to carbon super bikes. Everyone mixes and has a good time. Given that, what benefit would there be to limiting the cost of the bike? All that would do is limit the number of people who participate. Again, is that what you want?

There is also the issue of safety, which is surely going to be compromised by your price restriction. It could put you in a serious liability situation (good luck finding insurance) but more importantly, people could get hurt. I'm assuming that you don't want to see that happen.

Lastly, do you want to limit the minimum available distance to 50 miles? Perhaps a 25 mile loop would be preferable, as it would attract more riders. It all comes down to what your intent is for the event. I agree with the comment that "Sounds like something a group of buddies would do for kicks." To me, it doesn't seem like a sound basis for an event.
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sgtrobo

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Reply with quote  #15 
interesting idea, but I cannot fathom anybody riding a $100 bike for 100 miles, nice saddle or not.  I do think it's a cool idea, although the price is going to be a bit iffy to try to manage.

Up here, a used Huffy goes for about $100, so the price might need to be adjusted. For safety's sakes, functional tires and brakes alone will cost well over that cost.  Even if the bike has old rim brakes, super cheapo wal-mart tires alone are going to cost $25-$30/pair, and I'd not want to run a set of old tires on a 100-mile off-road race.  
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imwjl

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtrobo
interesting idea, but I cannot fathom anybody riding a $100 bike for 100 miles, nice saddle or not.  I do think it's a cool idea, although the price is going to be a bit iffy to try to manage.

Up here, a used Huffy goes for about $100, so the price might need to be adjusted. For safety's sakes, functional tires and brakes alone will cost well over that cost.  Even if the bike has old rim brakes, super cheapo wal-mart tires alone are going to cost $25-$30/pair, and I'd not want to run a set of old tires on a 100-mile off-road race.  


Good point considering our posse contains a Tour Divide rider and Marji Gesick finishers who do our big as well as more silly events. One has been an organizer and the more silly ones are never very big. A clunker or pixie bike are the class divisions we use. That lets someone own a new clunker or a more OG bike such as my Typhoon.
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Lbc

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Reply with quote  #17 
I like the idea. 100 mi is totally doable for anybody on a pos cl bike. Gets people out of the bike industry marketing bs and they’re just out there riding. I like adventure so this suits me.
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Pynchonite

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skldmark
Tim.bikeparty,yes. Allow all comers to run-what-they-brung,but, with surcharges applied for "too much bike".Those riding minimal bikeage receive time bonus's. Surcharges go into the "payout purse" and the time bonus's level the playing field. Judges/arbiters decisions are final. NO BITCHING.


Oooh, even better: a sliding scale entry fee or time handicap pegged to the cost of the bike.  If you bring your Open UPPER, you get an automatic hour added over the dude on the $700 commuter, and two hours compared to the superhero riding his little brother's cruiser.  Maybe an exponential handicap?  It would definitely have to be a shorter race (50-60 miles sounds more doable).  There is the possibility that people riding $1000 base model gravel bikes would just straight-up dominate.
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